It is impossible to become a proficient mathematician, or even to reach an intermediate level, without putting in work alongside your chosen course. This means that, no matter how good your natural flair for Maths is, you still need to brush up on the functions and equations that you will need to display in your working out during many of the exam questions, to get you those top marks.
So, while you may have a number of other demanding subjects that you’re also trying to juggle, you should do your very best not to put Maths to one side and simply expect the skills to come naturally.
Though it may seem hard to know where to start with A level Maths revision, or even how to go about revising a subject that is essentially numbers used in a number of ways for a variety of functions, then revision materials should help to guide you through the revision process.
Homework really does serve a purpose and, believe it or not, your teacher has most likely spent a great deal of their personal time finding useful texts for you to read or challenging exercises for you to attempt outside of the classroom, each designed to revise content learnt.
Instead of looking at the task and feeling overwhelmed by it, make sure you do give it a try as Maths is as much about working things out for yourself as it is having your teacher standing over your shoulder helping you to find answers. If you have been trying for a long time with no success, you might like to ask your parents for some help or one of your friends on the course.
If, however, you find that you are able to answer prep assignments promptly and correctly most of the time, then you should be prepared to then go on the hunt for extra revision resources yourself too to make sure you are always challenging yourself and having to use your problem-solving skills.
At a loss on where to find materials designed for mathematicians of your level and ability? Take a look at some of the tips below which should at least point you in the right direction.
Since students on the current specification have yet to be tested, the exam board cannot offer past papers for you to look at. Instead, they have a collection of specimen question papers, along with notes and guidance and mark schemes to give you an idea of what you can expect when it comes to your exams.
On the Internet, some resources you will find will be designed specifically for A Level revision purposes, while others may not. However, this does not make them any less suitable as educational materials.
Thanks to its categorisation, students can pick and choose which areas they focus on led by what they feel they need to improve on. Most sections are supported by examples or diagrams, which illustrate the lesson being taught.
Much like BBC Bitesize and its informative revision tools, S.cool.co.uk and StudyWise.co.uk are websites that are dedicated to students enrolled on GCSE and A Level courses in the UK. They each offer revision help, broken down into categories and supported with evidence. You can register an account on each of these sites to tailor your experience with them and get extra perks to assist with your studies. These added benefits include free revision guides, question banks and resources.
Meanwhile, RevisionMaths.com is a revision site, part of the RevisionWorld.com group, which focuses entirely on the subject of Mathematics. This means that the website provides a direct route to your learning needs and covers a significant amount of related content. You can even go back over GCSE materials if you feel it necessary!
If you feel that you have exhausted every avenue when it comes to online revision materials, then don’t forget that there are other ways to revise other than sitting at your computer or laptop.
Although it may seem a bit “last century”, you can still find a range of educational books in book shops that might help you to improve and progress your skills.
Shops like Waterstones stock a wide range of educational books adapted for students on numerous courses. They usually have dedicated areas within their shop too where you can go and flick through the pages and see if there’s anything that takes your fancy.
It is not only the exam boards that have been busy carrying out updates, academic publishers like CGP Books have subsequently had to carry out edits to their materials to reflect these changes. As such, as recently as this October just gone, new revision materials were released by the publishing house for A Level students enrolled on the new AQA Maths course.
These paperback revision tools can be purchased online from a range of stockists, including the publisher’s own website, but are also available in some retail stores and book shops.
In addition to books produced by exam boards for specific syllabi, there are a number of other educational books written by independent authors designed to provide interesting and entertaining facts about subjects that you might be studying. For Maths, these include books written about mental arithmetic, counting to infinity, equations that have changed the world and the hidden Maths of everyday life.
Don’t leave it until it is too late to start revising, start thinking about past papers and revision guides now in preparation for your mock or real exams next summer!
While physically going into a book store can help with your mental motivation as a result of being in an environment surrounded by books, you can just as easily order books online to arrive on your doorstep, often the very next day. Amazon, for example, with its Prime service, can allow for books to be purchased online and then be delivered the following day, meaning that you can get straight onto revising.
As you would expect from a huge corporation like Amazon, there are hundreds of options for you to choose from, many more than might be available to you in a book shop. For this reason, you can find books that might perhaps be more relevant or more to your taste without any limitations.
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Finally, although your effort is required to revise for exams, your money isn’t as important a factor. You don’t necessarily have to spend lots of money on books to get ahead with your studies, as a range of educational books (including those specially-adapted revision guides) can be borrowed from libraries in your nearby towns.
If you have never set foot in a library, do not fear, they are not so scary! Upon arriving, you might be taken aback by the quiet and relaxed atmosphere and the vast amount of books on display. Don’t forget to go to the welcome desk and register your details so that you can start taking books away immediately.
Of course, you won’t be able to make notes in the books, as they are officially the property of the library, but you can take the materials away to read or even to photocopy (many libraries offer photocopying services on site too so you could even have the opportunity to copy certain articles, exercises or definitions to put in your revision folder and go back to at a later date).
Most libraries are open for quite long hours so you can usually find a suitable time to visit around your busy educational schedule. As mentioned, you can read and photocopy relevant materials and even try to recall items that someone else has borrowed. In addition, many libraries now offer modern digital platforms, whereby online data and journals can be accessed and viewed.
Your school, college or university may also have their own library, however you might find that the study areas get quite busy in the run up to exams. Maths Revision will be well wroth the benefits in the long run!